There are many different aspects of keeping your chimney clean and safe, and using wood that has been handled correctly is one of them.
Building a fire in your home’s fireplace is not the same as creating a campfire. You can’t just wander around the woods, gather any wood you see and dump it in the fire. Because you’re building a fire in your home, a lot more thought and care need to go into this process. You need wood that won’t let out too much smoke and fumes so your chimney can handle them without becoming too dirty or damaged. For this reason, you need to choose the right wood, take care of it, and handle it correctly, to keep your chimney safe.
Properly Stored Wood Helps Cut Down Chimney Cleaning Service Costs
Unseasoned wood, or wood that is wet and has not been dried for six to twelve months, puts your home in danger and makes your fireplace chimney get dirty much quicker. Wet wood lets out too much moisture when it burns, which will give you a smokier fire which is generally less enjoyable. The moisture that it sends to your fireplace chimney will also accelerate the buildup of harmful substances such as creosote. Creosote is extremely flammable and, along with soot, blocks your chimney’s airflow. Having these substances build up in your chimney puts your home in danger of fire and carbon monoxide poisoning.
If you chop your own wood, doing so and storing it correctly months ahead of time gives it a chance to dry, so you have plenty of well-seasoned wood at your disposal once the fall comes around. Even if you buy seasoned wood, if you store it incorrectly it can absorb water. Incorrect storage will waste the money you spent on good wood, and using wet wood will create problems in your chimney that are expensive to fix. Follow our firewood storing tips so you don’t need to call a chimney cleaning service in Panama City more than once a year.
Choose the Right Location
Where you store your firewood is one of the most important parts of making your firewood last longer and keeping your fires safe. Many people like storing wood next to their fireplace decoratively, but this is a bad idea – especially if you cut your own wood. Chances are small critters are living on the wood, and you don’t want to bring those into your house. Furthermore, you need to store your wood somewhere with good airflow, so it can dry out or remain dry rather than it absorbing any moisture.
The best area is somewhere outside, but close to your home, that has good coverage. You also need this area to be on cement or gravel rather than soil. If your wood is sitting on dirt, bugs and bacteria can get into it and make it rot. An open barn or shed is ideal because while they’re outside and while there is great airflow, they cover your wood and protect them from the rain. If there isn’t any other option and the wood has to be kept on soil, you can protect your wood with small branches to elevate it from the ground. You can also place a piece of hardwood or tarp underneath your stack of wood. You can also buy a firewood rack that elevates the firewood from the ground, and a cover if you have an unroofed barn or shed.
Stack Your Wood Correctly
The way you place your wood is also important. Don’t just throw them in a pile haphazardly. Doing so will cause a lack of ventilation, and the wood will not get enough airflow. The firewood in the middle of your collection will probably rot by the time you’re ready to use it; instead, stack your wood neatly, but not any higher than four feet. If you’re storing wood that hasn’t been seasoned yet, store it bark side down; in such a way that the growth rings curve upward. This positioning helps moisture evaporate more easily from the wood.
Don’t stack your wood right against the wall as this can let moisture and bacteria into your wood. Make sure there is at least a few inches between your firewood and the wall behind it. If your wood is dry, place a tarp over it for extra protection. If not, only put a tarp on it when it rains, but leave the sides exposed so it can ventilate properly, and remove the tarp when it’s dry again.
Follow these tips and you will always build safe fires. With the proper wood, you can enjoy warm fires every night without having to worry about your chimney becoming dirty and dangerous.
Commentary on …
The way you place your wood is also important. Don’t just throw them in a pile haphazardly. Doing so will cause a lack of ventilation and the wood will not get enough airflow. The firewood in the middle of your collection will probably rot by the time you’re ready to use it; instead, stack your wood neatly, but not any higher than four feet. If you’re storing wood that hasn’t been seasoned yet, store it bark side down; in such a way that the growth rings curve upward. This positioning helps moisture evaporate more easily from the wood. Otherwise, you can stack them bark-side up, which will help shield them from rain or snow.
But you just mentioned that storing it bark side down causes the moisture to evaporate, so if you stack them bark-side up and that can help shield them from rain? I didn’t really understand what you meant, so I just deleted that sentence, but perhaps you can clear that up and write it a tad differently?